Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Quadricep Muscle Strain: Rehab Exercises

Main Content

Quadricep Muscle Strain: Rehab Exercises


Here are some examples of exercises for you to try. The exercises may be suggested for a condition or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercises if you start to have pain.

You will be told when to start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Quad stretch (standing)

slide 1 of 3
slide 1 of 3, Quad stretch (standing),
  1. If you are steady on your feet, stand while holding onto a chair or counter or while resting your hand on a wall. You can also lie on your stomach or your side to do this exercise.
  2. Bend the knee of the leg you want to stretch, and then reach back with the hand on the same side and grab the front of your foot. For example, if you're stretching your right leg, use your right hand.
  3. Keeping your knees next to each other, pull your foot toward your buttock until you feel a gentle stretch across the front of your hip and down the front of your thigh. Your knee should be pointed directly to the ground, not out to the side.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each leg .

Quad stretch (lying on side)

slide 2 of 3
slide 2 of 3, Quad stretch (lying on side),
  1. Lie on your side with your affected leg on top. You can use your hand or a pillow to support your head.
  2. Bend your top leg, and reach behind you to grab the front of that foot or ankle with your other hand.
  3. Stretch your leg back by pulling your foot toward your buttock. You will feel the stretch in the front of your thigh.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
  6. It's a good idea to repeat these steps with your other leg.

Hamstring stretch (lying down)

Picture of hamstring stretch (lying down)
slide 3 of 3
slide 3 of 3, Hamstring stretch (lying down),
  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. If you feel discomfort in your back, place a small towel roll under your lower back.
  2. Holding the back of your affected leg for support, lift your leg straight up and toward your body until you feel a stretch at the back of your thigh.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.